Carabana at Cinnamon Bay

The Carabana Ensemble Theater Company presents "Distant Voices" at the Cinnamon  Bay Amphitheater Thursday evenings at 7:30pm, through  May 4.  A dramatization of Caribbean slave narratives, the production is supported by a grant from the Friend of the Virgin Islands. National Park.  Admission is free.

Love was in the air

The Celebration of Love vow renewal ceremony at Trunk Bay drew 56 couples representing 1,189 years of marriage.

One couple had been married 57 years, while another was just five hours into their life together. John and Barbara Achzet of St. John, the long-timers, offered simple advice for the newly-weds. ":I would tell them that you always have to listen," said John Achzet, according to the Virgin Islands Daily News. "You just don’t make rapid decisions."

The ceremony was conducted, as it has been for four years, by Ann Marie Porter and Cathy Dove. Romantic music was played as couples, hand in hand, walked to the beach. Most were dressed informally, and finally barefoot as they let the waves wash over their feet while repeating their vows.

Real estate tidbit

One of the island’s most prominent brokers tells me … there are 91 houses listed for sale … and there are 91 real estate sales people on St. John.

We got here

AirplaneLanded Monday afternoon, 5 minutes late, via Spirit’s all-new-looking, spiffy A-321 from Fort Lauderdale.   

84 degrees and clear :)

Leftovers from the northeast snow storm were slowing operations down a bit in Florida – LaGuardia in an air traffic control hold until 1pm, for instance – but Spirit handled us fine.

I gotta tell you, the operating people on Spirit – attendants, ticket agents, baggage handlers, pilots – were fine. They were victims, too, of the screwy events of Saturday.

But … the plane coming down from DC was an MD80-series aircraft. The same as we had Saturday, the equipment that the co-captain said wasn’t suitable for us.

Was there more baggage on board Saturday? Did the slight mist from the incoming storm change the flight rules for balancing of the airplane or runway requirements?

I don’t know. One day the MD80’s no good, two days later, it’s OK. Any pilots out there?

Spirit’s numbers didn’t add up

Logospirit_1We were supposed to be arriving on island Saturday.  But a miscalculation of the number of people our Spirit Airlines plane could accommodate began tumbling dominoes that resulted in our being grounded, just as a 10-12” snow storm hit Washington, DC.

Two hours after we were supposed to take off for Fort Lauderdale, the airline bumped 25 passengers from the flight, including two guys who said they would miss their cruise sailing.They even offered $400 if two other people would agree  take their place in  getting bumped.  No takers.

After Spirit had unloaded all the baggage of the bump-ees, then the airplane intercom system failed.  Security regulations require it be in order.  The airline saw that there was no way they could find us all hotel rooms in Fort Lauderdale, since all of us with connecting flights (us, to St. Thomas) were going to miss them.  They told us to leave the plane, offered us a refund or re-booking a day or two later.

The airline had a couple of standout staffers in the mess. Carlos, one of the pilots, was helpful, and embarrassed as he could be. It was he who explained that someone in charge of scheduling airplanes had made a big mistake by assigning an MD-80(81-82-83)-size plane to our flight instead of an Airbus 319.  The former cannot handle the number of passengers and baggage and still meet the operating safety requirements of Washington’s National Airport.

At the ticket counter, after we got off the plane, the customer supervisor on duty, Curtis, could not have been more helpful – or embarrassed, too.  He helped us and gave us his card and invited us to call 24/7 if there were more problems.  There were.  And we did.  Curtis is a keeper.

But whom ever couldn’t do the math in Logistics or Facilities, or whatever department, ought to be fired.

The snowstorm that it the Capitol canceled our flight Sunday.  We’ll try again Monday.

Celebration of Love on the beach

Celebrationoflove_1Nearly a hundred couples are expected at Trunk Bay on Valentine’s Day to participate in the 4th annual vow renewal ceremony beginning at 4pmn.  Anne Marie Porter, St. John’s barefoot minister, and Cathy Dove, manager of Chilly Billy’s restaurant, organize the annual event.

One of the parts of the ceremony is an invitation by Porter for husbands and wives to forgive each other for anything they might have done over the past year, according to a report by the Virgin Islands Daily News,  "This asking for an receiving forgiveness is a b big thing," Dove explained. It makes me think differently about how I treat my husband all during the year."  The Celebration begins with a half-hour of fellowship, followed by the ceremony at 5:30pm